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Obama: Hey, We’ve Got Enough Enrollments To Ensure Obamacare Survives

Written By : William Teach
March 15, 2014

He’s pretty casual in throwing out the supposed enrollment figure, though strangely unable to provide the risk pool mixes

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(Washington Post) President Obama said Friday he was confident enough Americans had enrolled under the Affordable Care Act to make the program “stable.”

In an interview with WebMD (transcript here), Obama said the fact that 4.2 million people have already signed up for plans under federal and state marketplaces mean enough companies will be invested to stay in the system.

“Well, at this point, enough people are signing up that the Affordable Care Act is going to work. The insurance companies will continue to offer plans,” the president said. “It will be a larger number than that by the end of March 31st, the deadline to get insurance this year.”

How many healthy people have signed up? Don’t ask the President Of The United States, of which this is his signature law. He doesn’t know. Or didn’t bother to know. Or knows, but refuses to say

Obama noted, however, that the larger question is whether the risk pool is diverse enough to ensure premiums don’t skyrocket, since “the more you can spread the risk with more people, the better deal you’re going to get.”

“You know, the impact in terms of the program has always been based more on the mix of people who sign up. Do we have a mix of people who are gray-haired like me and may have some old basketball injuries and aches and pains, along with young people who are healthy and don’t really have any issues right now?” he asked. “Do we have a good mix of gender, in terms of men and women?”

It would be nice if the POTUS had the answer to those questions. For the amount of money already spent developing the websites and getting this POS law up and running, one would think there would be a way to obtain the data. The insurance companies must know what the mixes are. Either Obama doesn’t know, which makes him derelict in his job, or does know, and knows the numbers are bad. From the transcript

So, if all 40 million people who didn’t have health insurance all signed up by March 31st –in which case there probably would be a line, a little bit, in terms of signing up –but if all 40 million people signed up, then you could assure that probably the premiums would go down significantly next year, just because the pool would have gone beyond what the insurance companies anticipated.

Well, we’re only 36 million off. And the CBO estimates that, come 2024, there will still be 31 million uninsured. But, here’s an interesting little tidbit

A White House official noted that the federal law now requires an adequate network of providers, and in the coming year Health and Human Services “plans to have even more aggressive efforts in place to ensure that consumers have good networks of doctors, community providers and specialists.”

Does that sound to you like HHS is planning on forcing insurers to increase the networks? Which would cause costs to skyrocket, of course. And we can speculate that HHS would force insurers to eat the costs. Not that we should feel sorry for the insurance companies, at least those who were cheerleaders for this law.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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